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Focal Seizures

My two year old male cocker spaniel has periods, two to five times a day, where his teeth chatter for three to five seconds. At times, his forehead muscles will contract as well. Otherwise, he is a happy, healthy, energetic and well-behaved dog. At first our vet stated that this was a typical olfactory response in dogs. At his annual visit, the vet stated that Rudy may be having mild seizures. He stated that an EEG was needed to make the diagnosis. He recommended no further testing at this time as he felt medication was not needed. He stated that the condition would not threaten Rudy's health or longevity and said to watch for further neuorological problems. Do you have any further information and/or recommendations? Should we seek a second opinion?

I agree with your vet that this dog is probably having focal seizures. I personally like to rule out any underlying metabolic or inflammatory causes so my basic seizure work-up includes a compete blood count(cbc), blood chemistries including bile acids and maybe even a lead level if there is any chance of exposure. You should know before breaking the bank that these tests are usually normal but you never know if you don't look and the tests provide a good baseline level for future reference. If the tests are in fact normal I probably wouldn't start on anti-seizure meds unless the seizures became more frequent or more severe. If you do get a second opinion ask to be referred to a veterinary neurologist.

Dr. Mike

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